Silchar: All Assam Hindu Bengali Association (AAHBA) has taken exception to the repeated use of the tag ‘indigenous’ in a notification issued by the Justice B K Sharma, Chairman, High Level Committee on implementation of clause VI of Assam Accord. Assam Accord clause 6 speaks of providing constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguard to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.
There can be no dispute or divided opinion about the very objective of the said clause of Assam Accord, pointed out Basudev Sharma, general secretary of AAHBA at a press-meet here on Monday. What irks the people of other linguistic and ethnic groups is the repeated use of the tag ‘indigenous’ while seeking suggestions or opinions on various related matters from individuals and organisations which should reach the Justice Sharma Committee by September 20.
Basudev Sharma refers to the use of ‘indigenous Assamese’, ‘indigenous tribal’ and other ‘indigenous people of Assam.’ The Association wants clarification on it since it does create misconception among all sections of people living for ages in the State of Assam. According to him, people who have been living in Assam for a long time are ‘indigenous’ irrespective of their cultural, linguistic and ethnic identity. The word ‘indigenous’ does smack of a divisive yardstick.
Sharma said since Bengali Hindus constitute a large chunk of the total population of Assam, there should have been representation from the community on the high level committee. The way NRC has been updated has already raised many intriguing questions and with that a sense of fear has been generated among the non Assamese people. AAHBA has sent memoranda to the Prime Minister and Home Minister of Assam on the matter, besides urging upon Dr Rajdeep Roy MP to raise the issue of representation of Hindu Bengalis in Lok Sabha.